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Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Jul 1;37(1):101-12. Epub 2003 Jun 23.

Effects of human immunodeficiency virus infection on recurrence of tuberculosis after rifampin-based treatment: an analytical review.

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  • 1Communicable Diseases, Stop TB Department, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


We reviewed 47 prospective studies of recurrence of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) after cure to assess the influence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and rifampin treatment. Multivariate regression revealed that the recurrence rate for HIV-uninfected persons increased with decreasing duration of therapy: it was 1.4 cases per 100 person-years for recipients of >or=7 months of rifampin therapy and 2.0 and 4.0 cases per 100 person-years for recipients of 5-6 and 2-3 months of rifampin therapy, respectively (trend P=.00014), over a mean follow-up duration of 34 months, at a TB incidence of 250 cases per 100,000 person-years. Relative risks of recurrence associated with HIV infection at these 3 treatment durations were 2.2, 2.1, and 3.4, respectively, with a significant interaction between HIV infection status and treatment duration (P=.025). The recurrence rate increased with the background TB incidence (P=.048), and it decreased over time since completion of treatment in HIV-uninfected but not in HIV-infected patients (overall trend, P=.00008; difference by HIV infection status, P=.025). In countries where HIV infection is endemic, TB recurrence may be reduced by administration of rifampin-based treatment for at least 6 months, in accordance with World Health Organization recommendations.

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